Team Wuppertal brought an intimate but expansive vision to the Solar Decathlon Europe this year. Their sun-powered house is flanked by solar walls, capped by a solar roof, and provides multiple spaces to enjoy a sunny day. They pulled out some nice design tricks to make the space work like a much larger home, and included an advanced HVAC system to maintain a comfortable climate — factors which have launched this home into the top ranks of the competition. Read on as our exclusive coverage continues!
The Wuppertal House’s HVAC is a real engineering feat – a micro heat pump can push heat into or out of the house, and it is assisted by an evaporative cooler for hot days and evacuated solar thermal tubes for cold days. The main heating and cooling is connected to under-floor radiant tubes. The system is powered by custom PV panels set into the roof and privacy walls, which generate 6.4 kWhrs at peak production.
To maximize performance, phase change materials were incorporated into the upper walls and a celstory window helps cool the home at night and brighten it by day. The roof deck and ground deck provide extensive protected outdoor spaces to relax in the Madrid sun, and when things really heat up an exterior solar thermal curtain wraps the house up. The interior is full of clever storage spaces and built-in furniture that can easily stow away. 40 students from Bergische University, Wuppertal, Germany collaborated in the project.